The role of human capital in Ukraine’s recovery explored at Human Capital UA forum

October 27, 2023
Photos: Olena Kononenko / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 27 October 2023 – Government officials, business community representatives, civil activists, and demographers gathered at the Human Capital UA forum to discuss human capital development in Ukraine. Ministers, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, diplomats, and business leaders examined the most pressing issues related to human capital and its global development strategy.

The event was organized by the Centre for Economic Recovery, EasyBusiness non-profit organization, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, with funding from the German government. UNDP supports strategic initiatives aimed at developing potential to promote comprehensive growth and sustainable human development.

Preserving human capital is pivotal globally, and more so in Ukraine, where the war has forced over 6 million citizens to migrate, causing a 22 percent workforce reduction. A Human Impact Assessment, requested by Ukraine's Presidential Office and Government and coordinated by the UNDP alongside twelve UN agencies, reveals since February 2022, 65 percent of households faced income reductions. Disturbingly, 44 percent of these can't meet basic needs. Of the Ukrainians returning home, 73 percent have seen their earnings drop.

Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy, spotlighted human capital's importance at a forum, noting the migration crisis with over 6 million Ukrainians abroad, as per UN data. She stressed the joint responsibility of all governmental bodies in their repatriation and noted that the Ukrainians abroad are valuable for the country, serving as pivotal links to the EU, essential for both current alignment and future recovery. "Our Ministry is advancing efforts from security enhancement via humanitarian demining to establishing employment and education pathways,” she said. “A testament to our commitment is the successful year-long “eOselia” housing programme.” 

Yulia Sokolovska, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine said human capital is the foundation for the Ukraine recovery. “By investing in our citizens' development, health, and opportunities, we are building a stronger, more innovative, and sustainable future for the entire country,” she said. “Together with our partners, we are working on creating effective solutions to ensure dignified living conditions, education, employment, and social protection for every Ukrainian.” 

During the forum, consulting company Civitta and analitical centre EasyBusiness at the platform of the Center for Economic Recovery presented research on various aspects of human capital in Ukraine. The research was conducted with the support of UNDP and financial backing from the Government of Germany. 

Ukraine will lose $113 billion in lost GDP over 10 years due to the forced migration, according to Kyrylo Kryvolap, Head of the Center for Economic Recovery and Advisor to the Prime Minister. “Also, approximately $45 billion in taxes will go uncollected during this period,” he said. “But this is only part of the problem. We have decided to start a dialogue about the economy, security, social sphere, quality of life, education, and the future. Our goal is to create a unified state strategy for developing human capital with the involvement of all stakeholders.” 

Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine, emphasized, “These data once again underscore the importance of developing human capital in Ukraine. It's not just about stimulating economic growth but also about rebuilding society after numerous challenges. We believe in the deep potential of the Ukrainian people and are committed to helping Ukraine develop and implement policies and strategies that create a conducive environment for education, health, social protection, employment opportunities, and much more.” 

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